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How To Handle Transactions And Analytics In One DBMS…At The Same Time

Obtaining real-time intelligence from a rushing stream of hundreds of thousands or even millions of transactions per second has long been a desire on the part of businesses. Gartner, the IT research firm, has named this ability "Hybrid Transaction/Analytical Processing" or HTAP.

Why would you want HTAP? Because it enables very cool, very meaningful insights into your data in real time. Here’s one of the biggest HTAP examples around – Google AdWords.

AdWords are how Google makes a lot of money - by charging companies for putting up ads. That’s a transactional thing. It’s also an analytical application because between the time that someone performs a Google search and the time that ads pop up on your screen, Google has gone off and done a comprehensive ad display optimization. It’s gone off and picked the ads that it needs to pick, and it’s decided, based on all sorts of criteria -- about how many times that ad is been shown, and what your budget is, and what the rules are, and whether it should happen in this part of the world or not. It has to do all of those analytics and say, “Here are the ads that we have to put up.” 

All that activity in real time is a hybrid of transactions and analytics: HTAP. At NuoDB we see many applications starting to look like that and even more wanting to look like that. That’s not to say there won’t continue to be data warehouses. Of course there will. There are historical and discovery-style analytics that are going to be batch and Hadoop-based. But there are operational analytics on your core transactional data that you’re trying to use, typically, for optimizing business processes. 

However there’s a problem. HTAP isn’t easy to pull off and nearly impossible to do so in traditional client/server DBMS architectures. Google had to build their own distributed system presumably at huge expense.

On November 4, we announced Phase One HTAP capabilities in a new product version: NuoDB Swifts Release 2.1. If you want to know more about the business drivers for HTAP and the technical hurdles we’ve overcome, here are 2 relevant whitepapers:

The Emergent Operational/Informational World by Barry Devlin
Bloor Report: NuoDB InDetail by Philip Howard

HTAP is happening. NuoDB is at the forefront. Stay tuned for ongoing announcements and information on this enabler of better business processes.


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